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Expertise

Christine’s strong career record traverses public and private sector roles, including recent executive leadership roles as a General Counsel for regulatory and operational agencies within NSW Government. Christine’s core expertise is in construction, projects, major procurement and services for infrastructure, including public and privately funded infrastructure. She combines this with expertise in Government, public administration and regulatory matters, as well as executive leadership of legal functions.

Experience

Some recent relevant matters Christine led or advised on include:

Commercial

  • advising Transport for NSW (TfNSW) on the commercial strategy framework for it to shape its future growth, and helped define the respective accountabilities and roles of the various parts of the business undertaking commercial activities. Developed a roadmap of the commercial activities of TfNSW, including where they were carried out, and identified additional opportunities for revenue growth and the underlying enabling functions to support these.

Construction, including major projects and PPPs

  • advising Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) on all construction law aspects from conception, through procurement, to completion for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Project, $4.9B (now more than 90 per cent complete), and led the legal team supporting the project until June 2020. Complex issues included the risks arising from the unique contract packaging methodology, commercial and performance incentives for the Delivery Partner, insolvency and native title issues. The contracting methodology, cut to fit the budget and time constraints, involved the award of multiple specialist packages instead of conventional D&C. Member of the Steering Committee that established the project. Recently advised Laing O’Rourke Australia (with TfNSW consent) on discrete issues concerning their Delivery Partner contract
  • advising RMS on the Rozelle Interchange and Western Harbour Tunnel Enabling Works D&C, $3.8B in relation to the extraction of the design and construction of this section of the M4-M5 Link from the WestConnex PPP concession after a failed initial tender process. Led the RMS legal team responsible for the successful collaborative tendering process and amendments to the PPP Project Deed to enable the work to be undertaken directly by Government and placed back into the operating concession after completion. Led the Government team pursuing successful Court of Appeal litigation in relation to land acquisition for this project, and advised the TfNSW Executive in relation to project impacts and mitigations during construction
  • advising RMS on project governance models, concession structures, early works, interfaces, construction issues, inter-operability issues, incident response, and planning and land acquisition issues for the WestConnex PPPs, $16.8B. Assisted with the establishment of SPVs and creation, governance and abolition of a statutory subsidiary of RMS as part of giving effect to this complex program of works. Advised on, and influenced, the adoption of the structure to mirror a standard RMS PPP in order to create the framework for a smooth transition to private ownership
  • advising RMS on all aspects of the NorthConnex PPP and associated adjustments to M2, M7 and LCT project deeds, $3.8B, 2012–2020, from the initial unsolicited proposal through development phase, to construction impacts and the regulatory regime that supports the funding arrangements
  • advising Laing O’Rourke on its bids for the Suburban Rail Loop Initial Works and Early Works (Victoria), Western Harbour Tunnel Development Partner Bid and Sydney Metro Western Tunnelling Packages projects (some still current)
  • advising Laing O’Rourke Australia on the market interaction process for the M1 to Raymond Terrace (M12RT) including new crossing of the Hunter River west of Hexham, >$500M, November 2020 and Coffs Harbour Bypass Project (CHBP), $1.8B, October 2020. This involved critical analysis and advice on the risk profile and available procurement methodologies, but for very different projects and considerations. Advised on a whole of project approach for M12RT to manage flooding, heritage, environmental, traffic and community risks, and promote economic stimulus. Advised principally on interface management, collaboration incentives and program reduction for CHBP.

Government and regulatory

  • advising TfNSW on clause 222 of schedule 7 of the Transport Administration Act 1988 in relation to the proposals for funding, construction and operation of the Western Harbour Tunnel
  • advising RMS (and, indirectly, Treasury NSW) regarding a potential statutory foundation for the monetisation of the M7 revenue stream (assignment of rental income) to fund the State’s contribution to NorthConnex. Christine’s advice was reviewed by the Crown Solicitor and Solicitor-General, and ultimately adopted
  • advising NSW Government on a policy which was implemented in RMS (now TfNSW) to enable structured principled decision-making about the discretionary purchase of land affected by roads projects, but not actually required for the project. This matter included consideration of: 
    • the Roads Act 1993 and the extent to which it permitted acquisition of land beyond the minimal project requirements
    • the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, particularly the hardship provisions
    • existing RMS policies regarding owner-initiated land acquisition
    • a review of the parliamentary reports and recommendations arising from discretionary land acquisition schemes adopted for the M5 East and M2 during the 1990s
    • the commercial aspects in terms of land values and use while land was held during construction.

Membership

World Commerce & Contracting
Dispute Resolution Board Foundation
The Law Society of New South Wales
Commercial Law Association
Institute of Public Affairs Australia

Upcoming Seminars